Financial Abuse in Colorado Nursing Homes


With advances in nutrition, health awareness, and medical technology, Americans are living longer than ever before, which presents new challenges for families. With seniors living well into their 80s and beyond, more families are making the difficult choice to place their loved ones in nursing homes where they can get the 24-hour care they need.

While we place our loved ones in these facilities with the best intentions, unfortunately, a lot of bad things happen in nursing homes across America, namely nursing home abuse, which takes on many forms. The problem is those vulnerable adults are targets to unscrupulous individuals, especially when they have Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Nursing home abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional, or financial, but for the purposes of this article, I’m discussing financial abuse in the nursing home setting.

What Financial Abuse Looks Like

Due to physical and cognitive impairments, it can be very easy for a caregiver at a nursing home to financially exploit a nursing home resident. It is especially easy if the resident has dementia or Alzheimer’s or if the resident is physically frail. Financial abuse can be anything from stealing the resident’s personal belongings to using their credit cards to getting him or her to include the caregiver in their will, but that’s only the beginning.

These are common red flags that may indicate a resident is a victim of financial abuse in a nursing home:

  • Cash or other valuables go missing from their room
  • Unexplained withdrawals from the resident’s bank account
  • Unexplained ATM withdrawals or purchases
  • Unexplained credit card purchases
  • New credit cards are opened in the resident’s name with no explanation
  • The resident’s checks are stolen and forged to make purchases
  • The caregiver is named in the resident’s will or named a beneficiary on bank accounts or life insurance policies
  • The resident’s personal identifying information is used to open bank accounts or credit cards or to obtain loans
  • The resident becomes a victim of identity theft

Financial abuse, also called “financial exploitation” in the nursing home setting, is a common and widespread problem. If you’re loved one is complaining that the staff at the home have been stealing from them, it’s important to pause and consider the possibility, even if the caregiver says your loved one is making it all up. After all, if the caregiver is, in fact, guilty, they probably wouldn’t tell the truth.

Next: Preserving Evidence in a Personal Injury Case

To learn more about the various forms of nursing home abuse and filing a personal injury claim for compensation, contact my firm today.